Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
One of the ways in which proponents of same-sex marriage have framed the debate is that this is considered the contemporary civil rights struggle experienced and suffered by African-Americans in previous generations. Voddie Baucham, pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, takes with this claim, as you will read in his article, “Gay Is Not the New Black.” I believe strongly that Baucham’s concerns are warranted.
He begins by stating his premise: “Gay Is Not the New Black.”
It's hard to deny that homosexual marriage appears to be a foregone conclusion in America. This is a frightening prospect not only for those of us who understand marriage to be a testimony of the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church, but also for all who value the family and its contribution to the well-being of society and human thriving. And while it's difficult to watch a coordinated, well-funded, well-connected propaganda strategy undermine thousands of years of human history, it's especially disconcerting to witness the use of the civil rights struggle as the vehicle for the strategy.
The idea that same-sex "marriage" is the next leg in the civil rights race is ubiquitous.
Baucham identifies three problems with this “gay is the new black” claim, and concludes with a call to remain firm on biblical truth knowing that it is in the midst of our present-day culture it will lead to an “inescapable confrontation.”
Unidentifiable Minority: The first problem with the idea of conflating "sexual orientation" and race is the fact that homosexuality is undetectable apart from self-identification. Determining whether or not a person is black, Native American, or female usually involves no more than visual verification. However, should doubt remain, blood tests, genetics, or a quick trip up the family tree would suffice. Not so with homosexuality. There is no evidence that can confirm or deny a person's claims regarding sexual orientation
Unalterable Definition: An additional problem with the "gay is the new black" argument is the complete disconnect between same-sex "marriage" and anti-miscegenation laws.
First, there is a categorical disconnect. Miscegenation literally means "the interbreeding of people considered to be of different racial types." Ironically, the fact that homosexuals cannot "interbreed" shines a spotlight on the problem inherent in their logic.
Second, there is a definitional disconnect. The very definition of marriage eliminates the possibility of including same-sex couples.
Third, there is a historical disconnect. As early as the time of Moses, recorded history is replete with interracial marriages. . . . unlike same-sex "marriage" advocates, those fighting for the right to intermarry in the civil rights era had history on their side.
Fourth, there is a legal disconnect. One thing that seems to escape most people in this debate is the fact that homosexuals have never been denied the right to marry. They simply haven't had the right to redefine marriage.
Unsustainable Precedent: Perhaps the most damning aspect of the civil rights argument is logical unsustainability. If sexual orientation/identity is the basis for (1) classification as a minority group, and (2) legal grounds for the redefinition of marriage, then what's to stop the "bisexual" from fighting for the ability to marry a man and a woman simultaneously since his "orientation" is, by definition, directed toward both sexes? What about the member of NAMBLA whose orientation is toward young boys? Where do we stop, and on what basis?
Inescapable Confrontation: It is very important for those of us who oppose the idea of same-sex "marriage" to do so not because we wish to preserve our version of the American Dream, but because we view marriage as a living, breathing picture of the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:22ff), and because we know that God has designed the family in a particular way. While the design of the family promotes human thriving (Gen 1:27-28), the testimony points people to their only hope in this life and the next. As a result, silence on this issue is not an option.
Unfortunately (and quite ironically), many Christians have been bullied into silence by the mere threat of censure from the homosexual lobby. "Oppose us and you're no better than Gov. Wallace, Hitler, and those homophobes who killed Matthew Shepard!" is their not-so-subtle refrain. Consequently, we spend so much time trying to prove we're not hate-filled murderers that we fail to recognize that the Emperor has no clothes. There is no legal, logical, moral, biblical, or historical reason to support same-sex "marriage." In fact, there are myriad reasons not to support it. I've only provided a few.
We engage in this “confrontation” as “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-16), with “grace and truth” (cf. Jn. 1:14), acknowledging and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord through lips and life, giving a defense for the hope that is within us which we do with “gentleness and respect” (1 Pet. 3:15-16), and without apology because we believe God has spoken this truth which is for the flourishing of people, for our good and for His glory.